The people most confident about Apple’s success, however, seem to be the Apple execs themselves. Apple CEO Tim Cook felt plenty comfortable taking shots at his competitors when talking about the influx of new iPhone users over the last year. Cook stated, “They had bought an Android phone by mistake and then had sought a better experience and a better life.” Things got even spicier when Cook talked about the iPhone’s security and quoted ZDNet saying, “Android fragmentation is turning devices into a toxic hellstew of vulnerabilities.”
Apple’s success speaks volumes for itself, but comments like these still beg the question, is Apple just confident, or have they gotten cocky? A look back at their history shows they’ve walked the thin line between the two for a long time. Here are our favorite Apple disses from the past:
Only once did Apple put consumers in the critical crosshairs, filling its legendary 1984 Super Bowl ad with mindless drones. These clearly represented the IBM users who Apple hoped to convert with its brand-new, mouse-centric Macintosh computer.
2) I’m a Mac, I’m a PC ad campaign
For three years, Apple aired goofy, joke-filled showdowns between actors Justin Long and John Hodgman as the human representations of Macs and PCs, respectively. While not quite as iconic as iPod’s dancing-silhouette ad series, “I’m a Mac” worked because it mined Hodgman’s overly smug comedic sensibilities to send up Windows as an unapproachable, inelegant OS. My personal favorite, which sees the Mac play nice with a “new Japanese camera,” is above. (Worth noting, British and Japanese TV watchers saw different duos, but the message remained the same.)
3) Fat Elvis
At the 2006 WWDC, Apple senior VP Bertrand Serlet displayed side-by-side shots of OS X and Windows Vista while insisting that Windows blatantly swiped many of Apple’s best ideas, particularly the Spotlight bar. “If you can’t innovate, I guess you just impersonate,” Serlet said as the screen revealed a goofy Elvis impersonator. “But it’s never quite as good as the original.” Jobs followed that by saying, “Our friends up north spend over $5 billion on R&D, and yet these days all they seem to do is try to copy Google and Apple.”
If you want the full list of previous competitor put-downs by Apple execs, check it out here.